Below is a list of my top 10 most popular blog posts of 2013. Thank you so much for reading this blog and for caring about your growth as a Christian and/or church leader. Every blogger has moments when she or he asks whether it’s worth it to make oneself vulnerable through an outlet like this—and whether or not the work involved in blogging is worth it. Your readership this year has encouraged me greatly.

I’ve been blogging for roughly seven years, to the tune of over one million words. What makes New Vintage Leadership what it is…is you. Otherwise, I’d just keep a private journal. Your readership and interaction is why I blog instead. I’ve benefited greatly from reading and interacting with others, and I believe sharing our ideas has great value for our development as disciples and walk with Christ.

New Vintage Leadership is syndicated through various outlets—like, Faith Village, Church Executive, Sermon Central and others. Because I don’t have access to their data, pinning the exact statistics down is impossible. However, reading the tea leaves isn’t too difficult. So, the list below is based on a combination of direct blog traffic and a common sense reading of traffic to these posts on other sites.

10. How Envy Becomes Respect. I tell a personal story of how God envy can hurt our ministry and how God can use confession and humility to free our ministry of this scourge.

9. Never Eat Alone. This post actually wasn’t very popular on this blog but was quite popular in syndication. I also noticed some typos in the post just now. Barf.

8. For Worship Leaders: How to Get Along with Your Preacher. Preachers and the artists they serve alongside in such a vital way struggle to work well together. These are practical tips to help strengthen this important relationship. The popularity of #3 below also showed me this is something my readers really care about.

7. 5 Common Mistakes Preachers Make and How to Fix Them. A lot of preachers read this blog, and I wrote this post with them in mind as I reflected on my own efforts to preach the Gospel more effectively. However, what made this fun was hearing the feedback from non-preachers about preaching. People added mistakes they’ve observed I didn’t mention, or offered feedback on the mistakes I did mention. Great discussion on this across all outlets.

6. Ending Cohabitation with Jesus. This one took off when retitled it, “It’s not OK to Treat Jesus Like a Live-In Boyfriend–He Wants Nothing Less Than Full Commitment.” It is something I still feel strongly about.

5. 4 Reasons Churches Should Celebrate Advent. This post’s popularity caught me off-guard. However, I’m thankful there are so many opening their eyes to the spiritual power of this season.

4. Avoid these 5 Staffing Mistakes. Staffing issues top of the list of consulting requests I receive. This post ratified my hunch that many out there are looking for help in this vital area of church leadership. In fact, several posts in this year’s top ten are staffing related. This post was syndicated even on business blogs and is still gets hits every day.

3. How to Get Along with Your Worship Leader. This post went semi-viral on worship-related sites. I still have a lot of friends in worship ministry from my own days as a worship leader–and I loved their feedback on this post.

2. How to Pick Your Battles. Conflict is the one constant of ministry, and this post drew a lot of attention for it’s help in discerning when we need to let things go, or actually engage in redemptive conflict.

1. 5 Marks Your Church is Dying. If we are going to get anywhere, we have to stop applauding poor ministry born of our own mistakes by calling it faithfulness or, for God’s sake, “missional.” Churches must tell themselves the truth as a first step to turning things around. This post was designed to help in that effort.

There you have it. This year’s top 10.

I hope you’ll add this blog to your feed or blogroll, and consider retweeting or “liking” posts on social media. You can also subscribe via email in the right margin. I’ve got some fresh things in store for 2014, and hope it will be the best blog year yet.

Here’s to a great year, and God’s richest blessings on your ministry.